since he was executed. but and he then tried to come to new troy davis rescue he had supporters of liberal and conservative wing and his letter to the parole board stated i am not a liberal i'm an accomplished prosecuting attorney and i thank you are about to make the same mistake that we made in texas. so i think there are attorneys delicate cases and said maybe i should not have gone in that direction but then do defense attorneys handle guilty parties? i am sure that brokers as well. when you try to take on the rule -- role is might job to
do the best i can as though it is my life on the line it is not my job to be judge and jury. and if someone confesses you don't know they are telling the truth they could be covering up or maybe they were coerced or don't remember. both parties try to do the best they can play it given that every party in the system is human and humans make mistakes and those and that does wrongfully executed individuals. >>host: richard cpac author of "grave injustice" unearthing wrongful executions" published by a potomac books would is the average time from conviction
to put death? >> there is the average time depending on jurisdiction and it is usually a matter of years but in troy's case it was half of the man's lifetime, a two decades. it can be a few years but it can be much launder. the laundry gets the less likely it has the deterrent effect. >>host: american university professor thank you for your time.
>>host: at american university professor t. levin "the spirit of the law" what do you mean when you talk about the old constitutional world and a new constitutional world with religion? >>guest: for most of our nation's history it is the state's that controlled access to rights of religious organizations and so on and tear of the decades that began to shift as the supreme court applies the national constitutional establishment and free exercise clauses of the first amendment against the state to have a centralizing debate against religion. >>host: of the state's have controls we have freedom of religion. >>guest: yes but the first amendment begins congress shall enact no laws and directed only to the national government. >>host: were there restrictions? >> yes.
several states had religious establishments than most limited the amount of property they could own, as some tax religious property others would not let have group practices sandy eventually various states in the southwest banning polygamy for example,. >>host: with massachusetts or pennsylvania as a case study of states regulating religion. >> pennsylvania had been active blasphemy law that we would now think of as unconstitutional and the last case, the last gallup -- criminal prosecution was in the early 1970's by accident again someone who had a sign in his window
that said wanted radical carpenter speaking piece of they thought it was blasphemous and the aclu got involved quickly and the prosecution was dropped. more recently the film company owner tried to name his company i choose hal productions and was denied and corporation under the laws because it was blasphemous. and that eventually was dismissed. >>host: why did it start to change in the air of the 20th century? >> i think especially with the growth of the federal government with the new deal era, the other was the
embrace of migration and pluralism that it began to use sees a little bit after the early 20th centuries and the new deal forced so many people on to the move looking for work, having much greater contact with government and the expansion of government power highlighted the friction between a bigger government and the lives of the leaders. there was a lot more attention. >>host: to write about the salvation army what did they do? what is their role changing religious laws in america? >>guest: the salvation army which many people don't realize is an evangelical
religious group it doesn't just ring the bell during the christmas season. the salvation army believed in the cathedral of the open air and would go into areas especially impoverished to make lots of noise with a brass band and symbols and have parades' with loud preaching to attract the herb been for back into religious life. this came up against the requirements of many cities any parade has a permit and the salvation army made it a practice not to apply for permits and to be arrested playing their instruments on their way into the of saul and challenging these and they won a lot and they lost a lot and destabilize the law of the state by challenging these
restrictions. but they never made it to the supreme court of the united states because the states were still in power. >>host: when did the first major religious case come before the supreme court? >>guest: cases from the federal territories had come in the 19th century through utah with questions of polygamy but the really major cases made it to the supreme court the late 30's and early forties and they tended not to be the salvation army but the jehovah's witnesses to also caused a lot of trouble. >> and a very interesting case involved a group of witnesses that had gone into a catholic neighborhood in new haven on a sunday morning with the
anti-catholic records to distribute literature and they were arrested for peace and preaching without a permit appealing the case all the way to the supreme court that said because connecticut said individual city administrators would decide whether valid program was for religious organizations to allow them onto the streets they say that allows too much discretion and they applied for the first time part of the first amendment as the state of connecticut's it to overturn their lot to zero allow city officials as they saw fit it. >> does that lead to any nationwide cases?
>> if they're real big movement cames when jehovah's witnesses challenge laws requiring school children to salute the flag and say the pledge of allegiance. at first they lost. that was a big case in 1940 that got a lot of attention and after that violence broke out and three years later the supreme court changed its mind and said we may be interested and patriotism and unity but not by beating of schoolchildren >>host: so today most class's begin with the pledge. >> so can a child said legally? >> there constitutionally protected in there right not
to have to say the pledge of allegiance. >> the spirit of the law. who are in the people in your book? >> than and beverly are less well-known than they should be and were involved in a very important religious movement from the '60s through the late nineties as part of it and the merchant evangelical culture and them like others migrated to california to set up the major church and eventually became deeply involved in politics. beverly to is of particular a long dash particular interest founded a group which is concerned groups for america baster organization on five
spiritual principles bible, a family, patriotism, to the of marriage, to the of life and began to litigate that religious parents should have more control over what their children were taught in school arguing that era for women was a violation of the fundamental order and winning many cases. >>host: did you interview her for your book? >>guest: she is now in seclusion and retired almost 15 years ago and lives in california. >>host: somebody would have liked to talk to? >> very much. one thing that is very important with an organization like hers that was so involved and so
foundational to conservative women and political activism that his papers are not deposited there not available to re-read so another much smaller organization talks to everybody and somebody like beverly and concerned women for america deserved more attention for posterity and should deposit their papers summer where scholars can learn from them. >>host: professor of law and history here at the university of pennsylvania, a sarah gordon author of "the spirit of the law" religious voices and the constitution in modern america" par for university press. also the author of the mormon question and you referred to polygamy a couple of times. was that the issue about the mormons that got under
people's skin? >>guest: it was the most prominent. there were others and in some ways of access to public places for speech and life near the 20th century but in the 19th century the big question was would bormann's be allowed to redefine marriage and control the symptoms enough that polygamy would be recognized and protected as a valid form of marriage by the secular legal system not just the church itself. >>host: are there parallels with the gay marriage today? >> there have been.
one of the key issues for the mormon apologist as well as opponents was statehood for utah and it became pretty clear early on in american history that states have control over marriage within their borders as we have seen this fatah with the marriage equality debate today and utah pushed again and again for statehood and was denied again and again because of the question of polygamy but the federal government had much more control over territorial government and did or does over state government so yes there is a big issue about how much control states have over marriage was polygamy foundational? at the time the debate was
no and unless we see a transformative supreme court opinion which may have been especially from the california case, it's still within state control. >>host: sarah gordon where did you get interested in the subject of law? >> i became deeply interested when i was thinking about applying to graduate school and i was torn. did i want to go to seminary or law school? for family reasons my husband wanted to relocate roundup them on school rather than seminary and was delighted and then i go to divinity school at yale and
thought i was trading off one interest against the other and discovered with the interdisciplinary training i could combine my interest so i started around 1982 i am in my 30th year working in this field and find myself still fascinated and intrigue dedicated to sinking deeply about the relationship between law and religion. >>host: where is this pitcher from? >> outside the united states supreme court. it was taken on the day that a challenge to the pledge of allegiance, not the requirement to say it that the insertion of the words under guide that have been
in 1950's with the cold war pushed back against communism and this is a bishop of the small the nomination from poughkeepsie new york. they are praying for their protection or public acknowledgement of god outside the supreme court on the day the case was argued and behind her uc to guard standing, looking far less dramatic than she does. she is actually weeping. is a very dynamic picture i was thrilled to see it on the cover. >>host: professor court in some cases today include nativity scenes, a 10 commandments, is there a national standard on those
and where they can be displayed? [laughter] >> there are many national standards that disagree. the basic rule seems to be if it is just the ten commandments that violates the establishment clause but with the nativity scene or the ten commandments or the menorah combined with other things illustrating not just religious commitment but broad commitment of the american people then they have a far better chance of surviving. and if they have been there a long time, part art of the historic architecture, in a museum exhibited for the beauty of the art than that is also probably